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The Ionian Mission (Vol. Book 8) (Aubrey/Maturin Novels) Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
“I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s 20-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.” —Christopher Hitchens, Slate
“I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. . . . And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. . . . It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me.” —Keith Richards
“O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin volumes actually constitute a single 6,443-page novel, one that should have been on those lists of the greatest novels of the 20th century.” —George Will, Washington Post
“Gripping and vivid . . . a whole, solidly living world for the imagination to inhabit.” —A. S. Byatt
“[O’Brian’s] Aubrey-Maturin series, 20 novels of the Royal Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, is a masterpiece. It will outlive most of today’s putative literary gems as Sherlock Holmes has outlived Bulwer-Lytton, as Mark Twain has outlived Charles Reade.” —David Mamet, New York Times
“The best historical novels ever written. . . . On every page Mr. O’Brian reminds us with subtle artistry of the most important of all historical lessons: that times change but people don’t, that the griefs and follies and victories of the men and women who were here before us are in fact the maps of our own lives.” —Richard Snow, New York Times Book Review
“The Aubrey-Maturin series . . . far beyond any episodic chronicle, ebbs and flows with the timeless tide of character and the human heart.” —Ken Ringle, Washington Post
“There is not a writer alive whose work I value over his.” —Stephen Becker, Chicago Sun-Times
“Patrick O’Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.” —James Hamilton-Paterson, New Republic
“It has been something of a shock to find myself—an inveterate reader of girl books—obsessed with Patrick O’Brian’s Napoleonic-era historical novels. . . . What keeps me hooked are the evolving relationships between Jack and Stephen and the women they love.” —Tamar Lewin, New York Times
From the Inside Flap
- ASIN : B006CQQOOC
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company (December 5, 2011)
- Publication date : December 5, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 1278 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 401 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #75,041 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Having not only an interest in history, but in science as well, it's enjoyable to see Dr. Maturin's frustration with old salt's superstitions and snake oil medicine even while his own understanding of science, medicine, and natural history would be seen as archaic and primitive by our perspective.
The contrast between the sizable life-loving, highly social if occasionally clueless Jack Aubrey with his quiet, private, highly observant and often sang-froid friend is one of the best parts of this series. We get to see the best and worst of each of them, bolster and weighed down by the different best and worst of the other.
In my four-star review, perhaps I am being a bit hard on the author, as if anything, he has been religiously consistent and brutally honest in his protryal of life in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and blockade duty was as much a part of life at the time as was outright action. O'Brian writes, "Day after day of much the same manouvers, continually lloking out; but nobody did they see, never a sail ... only sea and sky." That I was as restless and anxious for a confrontation as the crew is, to be fair, as much a part of the story as the fighting he describes.
Perseverence pays off, however, the last 1/3 of the story moves at a much quicker pace once Aubrey is given orders to the Ionian Sea. There Aubrey must act as diplomat (not a strong suit of the Captain as his other misadventures on land demonstrate), negotiating between three rival claimants, clumisly navigating the labyrinth of Ottoman politics, simultaneously attempting to avoid anything his immediate superior (who has an axe to grind with Aubrey) could possible construe as failure, the better to courtmartial him.
I absolutely continue to recommend the series - and even with four-stars for the Ionian Mission, it is a realistic and worthwhile read. Recommended.
The inner workings of the ottomans is a nice touch.
Top reviews from other countries
The writing itself is excellent, as ever, but there is very little action until the very last chapter. I believe the slow pace of this book was deliberate by the author, to convey the tedium of naval blockade duty, but describing week after week of daily routine would stretch the imagination of any writer.
I still enjoyed it, as I am sure any dedicated fan of the Aubrey / Maturin novels will, but it is certainly not one of the best in the series.
Beware though as these are seriously addictive and I have bought and read each and everyone of the series and have read them in order.
Forget Hornblower, he is good but these are brilliant! Also don't be put off by Russel Crowe and "Master and Comander" the movie, which was an odd mash up of two of the books. Being an addict I enjoyed the film as well!